Pickleball! Is Burlington ready to go all in with a facility?

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Published June 28, 2023 at 1:40 pm

pickleball Burlington courts

Creating a facility totally dedicated to pickleball is on the table for Burlington.

The City of Burlington is in the initial stages of considering a joint venture club at Sherwood Forest Park to accommodate the explosion of interest in the sport.

An initial proposal calls for an enclosed facility that can house 10 pickleball courts.

The partnership was proposed by Pickleball Factory + Drill Pickleball which has suggested a not-for-profit operation to bring a national-level destination for pickleball enthusiasts, programs, plus world-class professional and amateur tournaments.

“Our mission is to accommodate the rapid growth of pickleball in Canada, making the sport inclusive and enjoyable for all, 12 months of the year, regardless of age, ability or circumstance,” states Chad Midgley of Pickleball Factory + Drill Pickleball, the group created to make the submission to the City. “Our facility will feature professionally surfaced courts and tournament quality nets, teaching professionals, a resident
physiotherapist, food and beverage and will cater to every member of our community and be fully accessible.”

In a report to City councillors this week, Denise Beard, Burlington’s Manager of Community Development, pointed out the “huge demand” for dedicated pickleball facilities.

Currently, there are limited opportunities to accommodate the demand. While there are a few dedicated courts with plans for more, most play pickleball on makeshift courts.

“There is an urgency to fulfill this need and desire for pickleball in the community,” Beard told councillors. “And Chad (of Pickleball Factory) has taken the risk to come forward and say ‘I can make this happen, I have the financing behind me to make it happen if the City wants to invest in the infrastructure and allow the lands to be developed for that purpose.'”

Beard acknowledged the feasibility of creating a dedicated facility is in the very early stages and could take several years before coming to fruition if the City decides to adopt the project.

For those unfamiliar, pickleball is paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong using a plastic ball with holes. Its roots can be traced back to 1965 when a U.S. politician and a businessman, looking for a family sport, cobbled together some equipment and developed the rules. It recent years the sport has taken off with courts popping up in locations around North America.

As for the name, there are two accounts but the one that we will go with her is that it is named after one of the inventor’s dogs, “Pickles.” You can watch here to learn how to play pickleball.

Burlington has several opportunities to learn or play pickleball. You can find out more here.

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